Thursday, June 21, 2012

Matt Barnes: The Sox Star You Don't Know Yet

Red Sox Pitching Prospect Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes is just 22 years old. He was just selected as one of two Red Sox prospects to play in the upcoming Futures Game—the other being shortstop Xander Bogaerts. You may or may not have noticed that the Single A starting pitching prospect has been downright filthy this year at Salem and Greenville. In a little over 70 innings pitched so far this year, he has fanned 95. His ERA is a Pedro-like 0.99. With all the talk surrounding Boston's 2012 picks in the MLB Draft, it's easy to forget that this 2011 first-rounder is on an extremely fast track through the system. The former UCONN Husky right-hander features a devastating fastball. In fact, Baseball America—a normally staid publication—effuses over the kid: "Barnes' fastball has sat consistently between 93-95 mph, but he's also shown the Verlander-esque ability to produce more velocity as the game goes on." Given the premium the Red Sox put on home-grown pitching, you may see Barnes in action sooner rather than later.